Rally Leads to Series Win for Green Knights - Superior Next

From Sports Information Director, February 21, 2009 | Men's Hockey
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

GREEN BAY - St. Norbert College rallied from a 3-0 deficit to claim a 4-3 overtime win over UW-Stevens Point in Game 2 of a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association Peters Cup Quarterfinal Series at the Cornerstone Community Center.

Nick Tabisz scored a rare empty-net overtime goal for the game winner to send the Green Knights to a date at UW-Superior's Wessman Arena for a NCHA Semifinal game with the Yellowjackets at 7 p.m. Feb. 28.

Stevens Point was forced to pull goaltender Thomas Speer in overtime, as it needed a win to force a decisive mini-game to determine the series. St. Norbert defeated Stevens Point 8-3 in the series opener.

Following a draw in the St. Norbert defensive zone, Matt Boyd pushed the puck along the near wall to Shane Wheeler. Wheeler broke out to the neutral zone in the St. Norbert end and found a streaking Tabisz up the middle. Tabisz skated in unmarked for the score with 1:20 left in overtime.

St. Norbert found itself down 3-0 early in the second period. The Pointers scored a power-play goal later in the first period when Matt Stendahl scored at 18:15. Stevens Point added its lead with another power-play score with 4:41 gone by in the second off a Jon Madden score. Brett Beckfeld made it 3-0 with a goal at 6:24.

St. Norbert head coach Tim Coghlin called time out and pulled goaltender B.J. O'Brien in favor of Blake Bashor. Thirty-two seconds after the time out, Tabisz crashed the net for the Green Knights' first goal. Steven Pratt added a power-play goal at 9:19 of the second period. St. Norbert had three more power-play chances in the second period but couldn't pull even.

The Green Knights thundered away at Speer in the third period, pouring 23 shots on goal. Stevens Point managed to hold its lead through most of the third period, and went on a power play when Alain Joanette was whistled for charging with 5:43 left.

Boyd then knocked in an unassisted shorthanded goal with 4:22 left in regulation to pull the Green Knights even. St. Norbert had another excellent scoring chance on the same penalty kill, but a short from close in went wide.

Stevens Point took advantage of its power play, going 2-for-4. St. Norbert was 1-for-7. The Green Knights held a huge 46-24 shots-on-goal edge.

Bashor made 11 saves in 37 minutes 16 seconds of relief and did not allow a goal. O'Brien made 10 saves in his 26:24 of work. Speer made 42 saves and took a no-decision in 63:29 of action.